Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has reacted harshly to Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fresh wave of verbal attacks at the Netherlands on Tuesday, accusing the country of the mass murder of 8 thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995, Europe’s worst mass killing since World War II.
Prime Minister Rutte has reacted Erdoğan’s latest attack and called it as a “disgusting falsification of history,” on Tuesday. Erdoğan’s tone is becoming more and more hysterical, according to the Prime Minister Rutte.
“We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre,” Erdoğan said in a speech that was televised live in Turkey, “We know how rotten their character is due to their murder of 8 thousand Bosnians there.”
Thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica in 1995 while trying to flee from Bosnian-Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic. They were trying to reach the safety of an enclave, where Dutch soldiers were contributing to a UN mission. Mladic’s forces caught up with the men. Their bodies were later recovered in mass graves.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has reacted Erdoğan’s latest attack and called it as a “disgusting falsification of history”, in response to RTL Nieuws. Erdoğan’s tone is becoming more and more hysterical, according to the Prime Minister Rutte. “He continues to inflame the situation. In level and lack of style, this is incredible. We will not stoop to his level. This is really unacceptable and extremely annoying,” Rutte said to the broadcaster.
In his speech Erdoğan also said the diplomatic row with the Netherlands could not be dismissed with an apology and that further action could be taken, after Turkey on Monday suspended high-level diplomatic ties with the Dutch. In a previous speech Erdoğan, who is seeking Turkish voters’ support in an April 16 referendum on boosting his powers as head of state, had accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants” for barring his ministers.
He said that he will hold the Netherlands responsible for what happened and that there is “more room for further sanctions”. Though he was not specific about what these may be. It will likely not be any economic sanctions, as the Netherlands is one of the biggest investors in Turkey. Erdoğan also again linked Europe with fascism, after he accused the Netherlands of Nazism and fascism over the weekend.
Rutte called these sanctions “too bizarre for words”. According to Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher, the sanctions are “largely symbolic,”, he said in television program Goedemorgen Nederland. “It is now important to keep a cool head”, Asscher said. “We’ll have to wait and see how Turkey further deals with the situation.” According to Asscher, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey is still in trouble, and that is not the Netherlands’ fault.
Tensions between the two countries, a dramatic escalation of Turkey’s row with EU states, broke out on Saturday when the Netherlands blocked two Turkish ministers from speaking at political rallies and the Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan twice referred to the Dutch government as “Nazis.”
Turkey’s relations with Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have been strained over these countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to hold rallies there ahead of the public referendum in Turkey in April.
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 on a constitutional reform package that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.
Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have canceled scheduled events to be participated in by Turkish ministers, usually out of security concerns.
A large number of Turkish citizens or people of Turkish origin live in these countries, and Turkish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections and referenda.
Turkey is a candidate to join the EU, although the membership negotiations have made little progress over the past decade. The country has become a vital partner in a deal with the EU to curb the passage of migrants and refugees from Turkey into Europe.
March 14, 2017